Joe Biden’s Uranium Problem – by Darragh Roche (Newsweek Magazine – August 12, 2023)

President Joe Biden may soon be facing a political headache involving uranium and Russian President Vladimir Putin after his decision to protect land around the Grand Canyon from mining.

Biden declared almost one million acres of land around the Grand Canyon in Arizona a national monument, called the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni- Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument, on Tuesday in a move that has been criticized by mining firms and some conservatives.

The area around the canyon is rich in uranium deposits which cannot now be extracted, while the United States continues to import uranium. A ban on importing fossil fuels from Russia is in effect. About 14 percent of total U.S. uranium imports came from Russia in 2021, with 35 percent coming from Kazakhstan, 15 percent from Canada and another 14 percent from Australia, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Newsweek reached out to the White House via email for comment. Overall, the U.S. imports 95 percent of its uranium from a number of countries, including Russia, Kazakhstan, Canada and Australia. Russia is the third largest source of imported uranium.

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